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Michael Joseph An Gof

Michael Joseph, An Gof statueMichael Joseph An Gof, a blacksmith from St Keverne, roused his village to rebellion in 1497. The Cornish uprising was a result of taxes levied by the English government to finance a war against the Scots. The Cornish felt this was nothing to do with them and it became just another of their grievances against the English rulers.

In Bodmin Thomas Flamank followed the lead of An Gof, urging the people to march with them and take their grievances to the King. They began to march peacefully to London, picking up supporters on the way. The Cornish became a disciplined army of around 15,000 men, effectively led by the powerful blacksmith, a natural leader, and the plausible lawyer.

On reaching Blackheath, just outside London, Flamank and his followers were forced into battle against the King’s army in the Battle of Deptford Bridge. They were soundly defeated and Flamank was captured and taken to the Tower of London. Both he and An Gof were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn Hill for their part in the Cornish Rebellion. In 1997, a statue of Flamank and An Gof was laid in St. Keverne to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the rebellion.

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